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Orson Pratt Brown's History

section header - History

Reed Smoot 1880-1970

Senator Reed Smoot
and the Mexican Revolutions (1910-1920)

Born: January 10, 1862 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Died: February 9, 1941 at St. Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida
Buried: February 14, 1941 in the Provo Cemetery, Provo, Utah, Utah

By Ariel Frederick Cardon

"Some time ago my wife [Chloe Smoot Cardon] came into possession of her father's diaries for the period of 1909 to 1928. Her father was Utah Senator Reed Smoot, for thirty years an influential member of the United States Senate. To me the diaries are absorbing. This was especially so when I began to discover names and events familiar to me. For example, the Senator recorded April 20, 1912, that the Treasury Department of the U.S. government advised him that some guns seized by the U.S. Army should be held as evidence against the Shelton & Payne Arms Company, or against O.P. Brown who was endeavoring to smuggle them into the Casas Grandes Valley, Mexico, in time of war [Mexican Revolution].

That name Payne took me back to 1898 when Lorenzo Payne, of Colonia Dublán, one of the colonies in the Casas Grandes  Valley settled by Mormons from Utah and other Western States, traveled into Georgia with me as a Mormon missionary. Perhaps he was the one involved in the alleged smuggling act.

Searching the diaries for clarification of the smuggling of arms I found that the Senator was being implored by the Mormon colonists in Mexico for protection from the Mexican rebels, who were in revolt against the regime of Porfirio Díaz. These colonists the Senator regared as part of the folks of his church, the same as those in Utah and elsewhere. So I compiled from the diaries all the references my father-in-law had made to the Mormon colonies. This article is intended to connect those entries to the history of Mexico from 1910 to 1920, a period of Mexican revolution.

In the early 1920's my duties took me into many farming areas of the Western States. Talking to various people interested in the development of farming lands, I was impressed with the high repute of the Mormon people for having successfully handled problems related to irrigation and dry farming. As one man put it, "If I had a land project to put over I'd head for Mormon country to get them on the job."

Having Mormon relatives [A.F.'s father, Thomas Barthelemy Cardon born in Prarostino, Torino, Italy and his mother, Lucy Smith Cardon born in Eaton Brae, Bedfordshire, England, and Thomas's other three wives lived in the Mexican Mormon colonies] who had been forced to flee their homes by the wave of revolutions which had swept northern Mexico just prior to the outbreak of World War I. I was struck by the oddity of a nation driving from its midst a people who could do so much good by example in agricultural practices. In the Senator's diaries I found much to explain this incongruous situation. The Mormons of Chihuahua, Mexico were close to Reed Smoot since they stemmed from Utah families. Their cry for help naturally struck a sympathetic response in him, and he proceeded to bring the United States government to their aid.

The diaries are woefully brief in the accounts of those suspense filled days; yet with my wife's and my close association with the Senator and the knowledge we had of the events related to the troubles of northern Mexico at the time of their happening, it became possible to piece together a good picture of the Mexican affairs. References are made in the diaries to correspondence, telegrams, and personal visits from leaders of the Mormon people in Mexico; to correspondence and visits with the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [the Mormons]; and to visits to, and documents of, the various United States governmental departments. In addition Smoot had the ears of Presidents William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson upon many occasions.

The troubles of this period of Mexican history are closely related to the government of Porfirio Díaz, in his policies of depriving the masses of their lands and liberty and favoring the rich and influential upper classes. Of a population of about ten million people, more than eight and one-half million were down-trodden Indians. At one time the land with subsurface rights was theirs, or else owned by the nation with a sense of joint ownership with the masses. Diaz changed this by altering Mexico's Constitution (see Andres Molina Enriques) to suit his wishes, by depriving the Indians of land and freedom, and by letting conditions build up which resulted in virtual slavery for the people. From May 1877 to May 1911, except for four years, Díaz was dictator. But toward the end of this period of tyrannical power, Díaz announced that he would permit, or be sympathetic to a candidate running against him at the next presidential election.

Thereupon, Francisco Ignacio Madero announced his intention to run for president of Mexico. Díaz promptly arrested him for treason, but Madero escaped to Texas and from there issued his plans for the emancipation of the masses. Madero's cause found supports and help poured into Madero's hands to support his agrarian reform program. Díaz, alarmed, offered reforms aldo but they were too late.

Naturally the country was in something of a turmoil during Madero's rebellion, and particularly was this so in northern Mexico where many Americans, including the Mormon colonies, were located. The leader of these Mormons, prior to 1909, was Anthony Woodward Ivins, whose counsel and farseeing leadership won the trust of these people. Although not in charge of the Mormon colonies at the outbreak of the events leading to the open rebellions, Ivins (an apostle of the Mormon Church, and living in the Avenues section of Salt Lake City) was nevertheless in touch with the colonists [as he had lived among them in the colonies for several years and could have better assisted with plans and actions for the impending events that cost the Mormons so much grief and loss as events] got out of hand. The explosion came with the murder of seven Mormons, where upon Ivins wrote to Senator Smoot in Washington, D.C., explaining the state of affairs, especially the grave danger confronting the colonists due to lack of arms for defense.

With the Ivins letter in hand, the Senator went to Secretary of State Philander Knox. Knox advised the Senator to get the names of the victims and their residences, and he "would wire for an immediate investigation. " (2/3/1911) [Also see Mexican Revolution Index - Stake Decision]

The Mormons were not alone in being molested; trouble was afoot in mining camps and towns elsewhere in Mexico. Mrs. Sol Seigel, of Salt Lake City, called at the Senator's office and expressed great concern for her son who, she believed, was in Durango, the mining country. The Senator could not give her any assurance that there was no danger in these remote towns. He had just talked to President William Howard Taft who was similarly worried over the situation. Senator Smoot felt that if Díaz resigned, guerilla warfare would break out, thereby adding to the danger of Americans who were feeling the anti-Yankee sentiments of the Mexican people. President Joseph Fielding Smith, at Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake City, also sensing the danger, expressed the same fears to the Senator. Smoot again spoke to President Taft who stated that the United States did not intend to interfere, or intervene, in the trouble with Mexico. He based his position on the belief that such action would increase the danger for Americans living in Mexico.

It therefore appeared that the chief concern of the Mormon colonists, at this stage of the Mexican troubles, was to have no intervention by the United States for fear of reprisals from the Mexican rebels.

On May 25, 1911, Díaz resigned as president and left the country. Madero and his party, in control of the government, arranged the naming of Madero to the presdency on November 6, 1911. But success did not attend his efforts. He lacked the leadership needed to direct the course of government and showed signs of playing into the hands of the followers of Díaz. A combination of such weaknesses advanced the counterrevolution of the reactionary, General Victoriano Huerta.

Throughout 1912, Senator Smoot sought to have arms destined for the Mormon colonists, but seized by the United States Army, released to the Mormons for their defense. Conferring with the State Department at Washington, principally through J. Reuben Clark, who held a responsible position under Secretary Knox, Smoot worked assiduously to resolve the dilemma of the Mexican Mormons. At the same time correspondence passed between the Senator and the Mormon Church Presidency in Salt Lake City, the outcome of which appeared to be that arms and ammunition should be sent to the colonists, if possible. Smoot's diary reads on April 3, 1912:

I had a conference with President Taft, asking him to instruct the officers in charge at El Paso, Texas, to allow arms and ammunition to enter Mexico for the Mormon colonists. I explained to him the conditions as they exist in Mexico and read to him a number of telegrams. Orson P. Brown had undertaken [as a calling from the Stake Council] to smuggle in arms and ammunition but they were seized by Colonel Steevers.  President Taft told me he would release them to be taken into Mexico. I was to see the Secretary of War to prepare the orders, etc.

The day following this entry, Smoot conferred with Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson about writing an order for the release of the arms, but the Secretary was reluctant to do so without the advice and consent of the Secretary of State. Stimson said he would see the President and did so. But at another conference at the State Department, J. Reuben Clark felt that it was dangerous to release the arms at the time and asked that the matter be held for further consideration.  Senator Smoot agreed and reported the decision to President Smith at church headquarters.

Further consideration of the wisest course to follow resulted in a suggestion by the State Department that to avoid future complications with the Mexican government in case the rebels were successful, a request be made to the Mexican government to allow a shipment of arms and ammunition to be sent to the colonies.  According to this plan the Senator wrote to the Secretary of State requesting this course be followed. Smoot wrote in his diary on April 15, 1912:

The Secretary of State wired for permit to ship into our colonies 50 rifles and 20,000 rounds of ammunition as I requested yesterday. I also asked the Secretary of War to instruct Col. Steevers at El Paso to release the rifles and ammunition seized by him some days ago, and to deliver them to the Shelton & Payne Arms Co. I wire O.P. Brown on the same subject.

Senator Smoot was advised on April 16, 1912 that President Taft had ordered the release of the arms. Despite this order, no action was forthcoming. So Senator Smoot went to see Secretaries Knox and Stimson again, asking for help. At the War Department General Leonard Wood was with the Secretary. They listened to Smoot attentively, and then advised him that they too, were pessimistic over the situation and had drawn up a battle campaign in the event the United States had to intervene. They also told him that they had referred to the Treasury Department the matter of seizure of arms from Brown who was trying to smuggle them to the colonists. From there the Senator wrote on April 20, 1912:

...called on Curtis of the Treasury Department and asked him to release the guns and ammunition and allow them to be taken to our people as to do so would save our people from buying that many more. Curtis said Brown violated the law and he perhaps ought to be in prison instead of having arms and ammunition release to him. He also thought the goods should be held as evidence against Brown, or the Shelton & Payne Arms Co. The question, he said, was now being considered by the Justice Department. I told him I was not worrying about Brown going to prison; that could be settled later; I want the rifles, etc. for my people and I would guarantee the Government, if it wants to send Brown to prison, will have no trouble getting evidence of his guilt. I will testify and so will Brown himself. I want action now. I explained to Curtis how Brown expected to take supplies overland to Casas Grandes. Curtis will take it up with the Attorney General.

As revealed in the diary the Mexican government proved pointedly reluctant about having the arms released and gave its reason for taking such a position on April 25, 1912:

The Mexican government has refused the request [for shipment of arms]...for fear the shipment would fall into the hands of the rebels. If we can assure our President that they will not, he will consent, with the Mexican government's approval, and will so notify it through our Ambassador.

There the matter seemed to rest. Madero was uncooperative.

If Washington could do nothing, the rebels could. Orson Pratt Brown, a representative of the colonists at El Paso, Texas, wired the Senator that William Brown had been murdered by the rebels. Taking the matter up with the State Department, communications were sent to the U.S. Ambassador in Mexico City and one to the Consul at Chihuahua. Mormon President Joseph F. Smith received a communication from Bishop Lillywhite of Sonora giving more details of the rebel raids. The information was forwarded to Smoot who carried it to the State Department resulting in more telegrams being sent to Mexico City. These events transpired during July when the Mormons were most sorely beset. The colonists, by the end of the month, were leaving their homes upon the advice of the Church and through fear of the rebels. It was estimated that two thousand colonists had fled to El Paso, Texas. Knowing that his people must be in distress there, Senator Smoot with other interested Senators had a resolution passed in the Senate authorizing the government to provide relief in the form on money, tents, and other supplies.

The Mormons were fleeing the dangers of war without a thought of their estates and chattels, only of their lives. Other Americans had their troubles too.  So Senator Smoot, with those Senators immediately concerned, had another appropriation approved, this time for $100,000 to provide transportation for those needing such help.

Toward the end of August, 1912, the Senator, at home in Salt Lake City, began conferences with the leaders of the Mormon Church. President Smith, Apostle Ivins, and the Senator were in agreement that the Taft policy of non-intervention in Mexico was sound. President Smith felt condistions would be unsettled for years, and if the Mormons could get their losses paid for it would be best to abandon their homes.

At the election that fall, President Taft was defeated.  Senator Smoot, returning to Washington, called on Taft who informed him that, "The Secretary of State for Mexico had been here for the last week and promises that 2000 troops will be sent into northern Mexico and the American people and the American interests will be protected."  (Recorded in Smoot's diary on January 3, 1913)

In spite of this promise, the prospect for a solution to the unrest was dim. Senator Smoot learned from Taft that the situation was critical.  United States battleships had been sent to Mexican waters, and the army was ordered to be in readiness to march in case it was necessary to intervene.

But Victoriano Huerta gained control of the government at this point. Arresting Madero and his vice-president Suarez on February 19, 1913, he executed them three days later. This highhanded method of seizing power, while not unheard of in Latin America, caused a decided change in United States foreign policy toward Mexico. President Woodrow Wilson, who succeeded Taft, decline to recognize the Huerta government which was founded upon murder and intrigue.

It had been the policy of the United States government not to interfere with a foreign nation's internal affairs and, generally, to recognize a de facto government when events showed that government to be strong enough to function. Wilson's policy was a departure from the traditional policy of the United States, and was one designed to grant recognition only to those governments which were founded on moral principles and represented the aspirations of the people of a nation. Deciding that the Huerta regime did not meet these standards, Wilson withheld official recogntion and looked to the eventual removal of Huerta.

But elimination of such a strong character as Huerta required more than edicts and essays. The action finally adopted was a negative one, "watchful waiting", for which President Wilson soon became known. But other factors also were making themselves felt to a great degree. Three men took up the rebellion against Huerta. A sort of triumvirate--Venustiano Carranza, Francisco Pancho Villa, and Emiliano Zapata--set out to win over the masses by advocating, among other things, popular agrarian reforms and by publicizing Huerta's grievous errors and shortcomings.

Senator Smoot conferred with Wilson's new Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan.  After discussing the Mexican situation, Bryan asked Smoot to let him know of any further developments with which he might become acquainted. Little news from the Mormon colonists reached Smoot at this time, but the Senate heard more about Mexican events and rumors and debated them with some warmth. The event that seemed to have touched off the debate was President Wilson's selection of Joh Lind to got to Mexico as his personal representative. Wrote Smoot on August 7, 1913:

The President's sending Lind has caused a great deal of criticism. He send Lind as a personal representative, with no authority to act, nor does he represent in any way the United States. President Huerta will not receive him and no one could blame him. President Wilson will not recognize the Huerta government and the President has called him a murderer, a usurper, and everything that is bad.

The Senator was quite widely known to be in disagreement with Wilson on many matters; but on nonintervention in Mexico they were in accord. Smoot went to see Wilson to discuss the Mexican problem on August 11, 1913:

I told him I was in full harmony with him in not intervening in Mexico, and that the leaders of the Mormon people were opposed to intervention.  The Utah people [Mormons] had suffered more in numbers and loss of property than any other people and they are not demanding intervention. I told him of the letter I had received from A.W. Ivins in which he states that he would rather lose every cent of his property in Mexico than have intervention.

[Note: The reality of the situation was that the Mormons that in fact had owned homes, farms, businesses, and other interests in the Mexican Mormon colonies were agonizing over their losses. Families had been split up, and many were destitute. Practicing polygynists had to separate from all but one wife. All their mementos, their crops, and all their labors, including a lifestyle finally bearing the fruits of their labors, were being looted, burned, destroyed, or taken over by the Federales soldiers, the local Mexicans, the bandits, and the revolutionary armies.

Many attempts were made by the Mormon men to continue to run their farms whether by entrusting local Mexicans to work for them or by making dangerous trips back and forth between the colonies and the United States. Orson Pratt Brown and many others worked continually for a number of years trying to regain in safety what they felt was legally theirs, or to be remunerated for what was taken from them. Some payments took many years to come forward. Some Mormons did not give in to the fear of the revolution for long and returned to their homes in the colonies. Little assistance in regaining their property was provided to the colony Saints from the U.S. government or the Mormon church.]

This avowal of support for Wilson's policy was repeated in the Senate a few days later.  Here the President read a message to Congress about the Mexican troubles and promised to publish in full the reply he expected to receive from Huerta. According to the diaries, however, it appeared to the Senator that the reply was written by the Mexican minister in Washington: "...a remarkable paper and, in some respects, cannot be successfully answered." (Written August 27, 1913)

On that vein the matter rested, so far as the Senator was concerned.  After a visit in Utah where he was advised regarding the status of the Mormon migration from Mexico, he went to the President and further discussed the situation. Wilson was inclined to let the constitutionalists, led by Carranza, in Mexico import arms from America to help eliminate Huerta.

Such a concession to the Carranza faction indicated Wilson's willingness to depart further from the heretofore United States policy of non-interference with the internal affairs of another nation. The brutal murder of Madero and Suarez by Huerta had so aroused the resentment of many Americans that little criticism was directed toward Wilson for this departure.

All through the winter months and into the spring of 1914, this sanguine drama of rebellion and defiance held the interest of the United States, an interest that was highlighted by the incident of the salute to the American flag. An official of the Huerta regime at Tampico had arrested a naval party of the United States fleet in Mexican waters, whereupon Admiral Henry T. Mayo, in command backed by President Wilson, demanded a public salute to the United States flag from the forts of that city. Wrote Senator Smoot on April 14, 1914:

Huerta has refused to do so but has expressed regret and punished the officer inflicting the insult. The President begins to realize his watchful waiting policy is a failure and the people are opposed to him. So Wilson takes this small incident to make a great bluff to show our strength. This should have been done when they were killing American citizens [mostly Mormons] and scoffing at every request of our government. John Lind, it is understood, caused the President to take this stand against the counsel of Willian J. Bryan. I think the President also decided this would be a good move to make to draw attention from the Free Tolls question [regarding the Panama Canal during 1912-1914 purportedly bringing British support for Wilson and his Mexican policy and to mediate the Wilson-Huerta impasse]. Eleven battleships and about 15,000 American soldiers were ordered to Tampico.

This action caused great excitement. A few of the Republicans met in Senator Gallinger's office and talked over the situation.  We agreed to say nothing in the Senate today but wait and see what action will be taken by Huerta, and if he refuses, what Wilson will do.

Thus the Republicans joined in watchful waiting.

The next day the Senator told of the criticism and ridicule of the President for ordering the whole Atlantic fleet to force Huerta to salute the American flay. The diary goes on April 15, 1914:

It is my belief that Wilson intends to intervene in Mexico and will deliver a message to Congress within a short time, asking that he be authorized to declare war. Politics are at the bottom of it. Roosevelt [T.R.] gave notice that he would not go to Spain but would return home. This move [in Mexico] is to forestall Roosevelt from making the Mexican question an issue, and to withdraw public interest from Wilson's repeal of the Panama tolls. A very clever move.

The flag incident took on more somber tones next day. Much to the disgust of the Senator, it appeared that Wilson had agreed to salute the Mexican flag if Huerta would salute the American flag.  Wrote Smoot on April 16, 1914:

I never heard any men criticized more severely than were Wilson and Bryan for their reportedly cowardly backdown to Huerta. Bryan says our saluting the Mexican flag after their saluting ours is like one gentleman tipping his hat to another one. Men of all political faiths are condeming them for bringing humiliation to all Americans. Huerta won his point in having us agree to salute the Mexican flag. Today he want the salutes fired simultaneously. He is just mocking us and showing the world what a jellyfish administration we have.

Huerta stuck to his guns on the flag incident, refusing to salute the flag unless the return salute was simultaneous. But Wilson refused and promptly notified Huerta that Mexico would be given until six o'clock Sunday evening, April 19, to salute the flag of the United States, or suffer the consequences. A great feeling of resentment swept the Congress as well as the country at the action of the Mexican government. In the Senator's opinion, if Huerta saluted the flag, Villa would use it against him by charging him with disloyalty to his country. Huerta hesitate still further and asked for a longer time to consider the matter to Congress where he asked for a resolution backing him up in his action. Congress voted overwhelmingly its endorsement of Wilson's stand, but Senator Smoot voted against it feeling the intervention in Mexico was poorly justified and that the flag incident should not have been permitted to brng the country into open conflict. The Senator wrote in his diary that the President ordered the Navy to take Vera Cruz, and that four Americans had been killed and twenty-one wounded. Furthermore, Smoot wrote that, according to reports in the Senate, Carranza and Villa had virtually declared war against the United States. In justification of the bombardment of Vera Cruz, Secretary William Jennings Bryan had advised Wilson that a german ship was about to land arms in Mexico. To prevent this delivery Vera Cruz was occupied by U.S. forces. Nevertheless, the reaction in Mexico was to unite the various factions aganst the U.S.

These events on the larger theatre of operations crowed the matter of the Mormon colonies somewhat off the stage. But Willa still stalked northern Mexico, brandishing his sword above the heads of all Americans. Then came a telegram to Senator Smoot from Presiding Elder of the Mormon colonies on April 24, 1914:

...telling me of the great danger our Mexican colonies find themselves in since the attack on Vera Cruz. I took the matter up with Asst. Secretary of State Osborne and he wired the American Consul relative to the same.

Much to his surprise the Senator on the very next day

Received word from the State Department that Villa had promised to give excort and protection to our colonists who want to leave Mexico if we would let him know just where they are located. I wired A. F. [Arwell Lee] Pierce at El Paso to let us know where the colonists are located and I would see that Villa was notified.

[Note: By this date of April 26, 1914 most of the Mormon colonists had left during the previous two years. Certainly few of them would have felt comfortable or trusted Villa or his men to escort them for safe passage to the United States. ]

One would gather from Villa's offer and Senator Smoot's account that Villa was not so bloodthirsty as he had been represented. In fact it was the most direct offer of Mexican friendship and understanding toward the colonists that is noted in the Senator's diaries. It could scarcely be said that Villa wanted to know the location of the Mormons to attack them.

At this point Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, each of which had refused to recognize Huerta, tendered their offices for a peaceful and friendly settlement of the Mexican conflict. President Wilson accepted the offer, but Senator Smoot felt Huerta was not likely to do so because the offer came from those who had refused to recognize him. It turned out differently , however, and the "ABC" offer was accepted by both sides. Smoot, still gloomy about the situation, expressed the opinion that the mediation efforts would amount to nothing; Huerta would not agree to any terms that would eliminate him, and he would not recognize Carranza and Villa as parties to an agreement. But out of the ABC efforts, which did not name who should become president in Mexico, issued the resignation of Huerta on July 15, 1914, and the withdrawal of U.S. occupation forces from Vera Cruz.

This failure to agree on a successor to Huerta threatened the solution of the Mexican problem. Carranza and Villa were not fully satisfied, and Zapata apparently was ignored through the action of the State Department. This elimination of one of the trio was reported to the Senator by H. L. [Hubert Lester] Hall [1858-1930] from the Mormon colonies, as the diaries reveal.

About the first of May, 1914, Hall appeared at the Senator's office with a request that a meeting be arranged between him and John Lind, the President's representative. The meeting was arranged over the telephone. Mr. Lind, however, wanting a preliminary discussion with the Senator alone, promptly came to the latter's office and discussed the Mexican situation and Hall, who seemed so worked up about Zapata. Later, another meeting was held with Mr. Hall present. The Senator reports in his diary for that date of May 10, 1914:

Lind thinks it is safe in trusting Villa and Carranza in defeating Huerta and restoring order in Mexico. Bryan and the President may have great confidence in them; I have not so much. We discussed the course to pursue in handling the land, or agrarian, policy. I told him what had been accomplished. He wants our cooperation in getting people associated with Zapata in the southern part of Mexico. He wants me to lay before the President and Bryan my views of assisting Mexican people and how to teach them in the future. We help them with provisions through the Red Cross by requistions made by Brother Hall. Lind thinks Carranza and Villa will be loyal because they can't get help from any other source. He also thinks all classes of Mexican people are tired of war and want peace. He was impressed with my suggestion that A. W. Ivins be used in the mediation efforts, and wanted to present the same to the President.

A few days later Mr. Hall told the Senator of a letter he had written to Bryan at the latter's suggestion, giving a history of Zapata and his services in the rebellion. Later Hall wanted to have a Mr. Brady come to Washington as a representative of Zapata. Then in June, Lind was said to have advised Zapata by telegram that the United States would not negotiate with him, whereupon Zapata's representative advised Hall that his (Hall's) and another man's property would no long be protected. Hall was discouraged. The diary continues on July 12, 1914:

He received advices from Zapata that he had joined forces with Huerta and was dissatisfied with his [Hall's] services in Washington. I told him I did not believe it and the statements were sent him for the effect here in Washington, and particularly on Carranza's representative.

If Zapata did cast his lot with Huerta, he showed poor judgement in the light of what followed. Senator Smoot reported in his diary two days later that Huerta had resigned, and then added, "Villa may start another revolution as soon as Carranza is made President.  Some talk of his establihsing another republic with the northern states of Mexico." (July 14, 1914)

Carranza as President of Mexico launched agrarian reforms that won him followers but also the hatred of Villa. It came about by a provisional decree in January, 1915, and from that time forward events moved along a bloody trail made through Villa's theater of operation. At Santa Ysabel eighteen miners were killed; and then followed a raid across the American border at Columbus, New Mexico, where seventeen Americans were killed. Villa fled, followed by troops led by General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing. President Wilson ordered Villa to be taken dead or alive, but Villa was not caught. Then Carranza's government, resenting the Americans on Mexican soil, finally succeeded in having Wilson withdraw them, but not until several Americans were killed and a score captured. With time the popularity of Carranza waned when his reforms did not materialize. Another triumvirate of rebels gathered; Carranza fled but was overtaken and assassinated in May 1920. As to Villa, a body was dug up in northern Mexico which was identified as that of the swashbuckler. Whether assassinated or otherwise killed, it made no difference. All of the first triumbirate were dead or eliminate.

Essentially, the grande motif of the Mexican unrest was the return of the land to the masses. Today's cry is Africa for Africans; then, it was Mexico for the Mexicans. Capitalizing upon the longing of the lowly Mexican to gain his own plot of land, rebel leaders attempted to oust foreign landowners--including those who held mineral and oil rights. Does that explain the incongruity of the flight of the colonists?

At last the play was over, the curtain down. Zapata, in the role of the scapegoat, was discredited; Carranza, the great hope and hero, was no more; Villa, the Robin Hood, or the murderer, or the irreconcilable, was in his lonely grave; and Huerta, the usurper, the murderer, the Satan of the play, was whole and out of office. These were the chief actors. There remained as always the more numerous chorus--the lowly Mexican the the Mormon. The Mexican had good cause to lament his fate, but wiser men were on their way to temper that lot, increase his comfort, and give him his land and freedom again. As to the Mormon, he was driven off his colonial land and back to the land of the Gringo.

[Note: O.P. Brown and a few others continued to negotiate with the Mexicans for restitution. They were partially successful. Brown and parts of his family continued to live in the colonies, Brown remained until his death in 1946.]


PAF - Archer files = Captain James Brown + (7) Phebe Abbott > Orson Pratt Brown
Captain James Brown + (8) Cecelia Cornue > James Fredrick "Wollerton" Brown Sr. + Esther Amelia Marriott < John Marriott Jr. + Elizabeth Stewart

Esther Amelia Marriott is the aunt of John Willard Marriott Sr. Their common ancestors are John Marriott Jr. and Elizabeth Stewart. Esther Amelia Marriott is the great-aunt of Reed Smoot's wife Alice Sheets Marriott.

Reed Smoot + Alice Taylor Sheets > (adopted) Alice Sheets + John Willard Marriott Sr. < Hyrum Willard Marriott + Ellen Nell Morris < John Marriott Jr. + Elizabeth Stewart < John Marriott Sr + Frances Parish

John Willard Marriott Sr. + Alice Sheets are the parents of John Willard "Bill" Marriott Jr.

"Reed Smoot and the Mexican Revolutions" by A. F. [Ariel Frederick] Cardon (1880-1970), Utah Historical Quarterly, Spring 1963, pages152-163.

Additions, bold, [bracketed], some photos, etc., added by Lucy Brown Archer

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... Easter 1986 through October 2005


... Published December 2007:
By Erold C. Wiscombe

... Published March 2009:
(unfortunately the publisher incorrectly changed the photo
and spelling of Phebe Abbott Brown Fife's name
after it was proofed by this author)
Researched and Compiled by
Erold C. Wiscombe

... Published 2012:
"Finding Refuge in El Paso"
By Fred E. Woods [ISBN: 978-1-4621-1153-4]
Includes O.P Brown's activities as Special Church Agent in El Paso
and the Juarez Stake Relief Committee Minutes of 1912.

...Published 2012:
"Colonia Morelos: Un ejemplo de ética mormona
junto al río Bavispe (1900-1912)"
By Irene Ríos Figueroa [ISBN: 978-607-7775-27-0]
Includes O.P. Brown's works as Bishop of Morelos. Written in Spanish.

...Published 2014:
"The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins 1875 - 1932"
By Elizabeth Oberdick Anderson [ISBN: 978-156085-226-1]
Mentions O.P. Brown more than 30 times as Ivins' companion.

... To be Published Soon:

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... Lily Gonzalez Brown 80th Birthday Party-Reunion
July 14, 2007 in American Fork, Utah

...Gustavo Brown Family Reunion in October 2007

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...... Biographical Sketch of the Life Orson Pratt Brown
...... History of Orson Pratt Brown by Orson P. Brown
...... Journal & Reminiscences of Capt. Orson P. Brown
...... Memories of Orson P. Brown by C. Weiler Brown
...... Orson Pratt Brown by "Hattie" Critchlow Jensen
...... Orson Pratt Brown by Nelle Spilsbury Hatch
...... Orson Pratt Brown by W. Ayrd Macdonald

- Captain James Brown 1801-1863

...... Wives and 29 / 43 Children Photo Chart
...... Captain James Brown's Letters & Journal
...... Brown Family Memorabilia
...... Mormon Battalion 1846-1847
...... Brown's Fort ~ then Brownsville, Utah
...... Chronology of Captain James Brown

- Phebe Abbott Brown Fife 1831-1915

- Colonel William Nicol Fife - Stepfather 1831-1915


- James Brown of Rowan County, N.C. 1757-1823

- Mary Williams of Rowan County, N.C. 1760-1832

- Stephen Joseph Abbott of, PA 1804-1843

- Abigail Smith of Williamson, N.Y. 1806-1889

- John Fife of Tulliallan, Scotland 1807-1874

- Mary Meek Nicol, Carseridge, Scotland 1809-1850 


- Martha "Mattie" Diana Romney Brown 1870-1943

- Jane "Jennie" Bodily Galbraith Brown 1879-1944

- Elizabeth Graham MacDonald Webb Brown 1874-1904

- Eliza Skousen Brown Abbott Burk 1882-1958

- Angela Maria Gavaldón Brown 1919-1967


- (Martha) Carrie Brown (child) 1888-1890

- (Martha) Orson Pratt Brown, Jr. (child) 1890-1892

- (Martha) Ray Romney Brown 1892-1945

- (Martha) Clyde Romney Brown 1893-1948

- (Martha) Miles Romney Brown 1897-1974

- (Martha) Dewey B. Brown 1898-1954

- (Martha) Vera Brown Foster Liddell Ray 1901-1975

- (Martha) Anthony Morelos Brown 1904-1970

- (Martha) Phoebe Brown Chido Gardiner 1906-1973

- (Martha) Orson Juarez Brown 1908-1981

- (Jane) Ronald Galbraith Brown 1898-1969

- (Jane) Grant "Duke" Galbraith Brown 1899-1992

- (Jane) Martha Elizabeth Brown Leach Moore 1901-1972

- (Jane) Pratt Orson Galbraith Brown 1905-1960

- (Jane) William Galbraith Brown (child) 1905-1912

- (Jane) Thomas Patrick Porfirio Diaz Brown 1907-1978

- (Jane) Emma Jean Galbraith Brown Hamilton 1909-1980

- (Elizabeth) (New born female) Webb 1893-1893

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Webb Brown Jones 1895-1982

- (Elizabeth) Marguerite Webb Brown Shill 1897-1991

- (Elizabeth) Donald MacDonald Brown 1902-1971

- (Elizabeth) James Duncan Brown 1904-1943

- (Eliza) Gwen Skousen Brown Erickson Klein 1903-1991

- (Eliza) Anna Skousen Brown Petrie Encke 1905-2001

- (Eliza) Otis Pratt Skousen Brown 1907-1987

- (Eliza) Orson Erastus Skousen Brown (infant) 1909-1910

- (Eliza) Francisco Madera Skousen Brown 1911-1912

- (Eliza) Elizabeth Skousen Brown Howell 1914-1999

- (Angela) Silvestre Gustavo Brown 1919-

- (Angela) Bertha Erma Elizabeth Brown 1922-1979

- (Angela) Pauly Gabaldón Brown 1924-1998

- (Angela) Aaron Aron Saul Brown 1925

- (Angela) Mary Angela Brown Hayden Green 1927

- (Angela) Heber Jedediah Brown (infant) 1936-1936

- (Angela) Martha Gabaldón Brown Gardner 1940


- Stephen Abbott Brown 1851-1853

- Phoebe Adelaide Brown Snyder 1855-1930

- Cynthia Abigail Fife Layton 1867-1943

- (New born female) Fife 1870-1870

- (Toddler female) Fife 1871-1872


- (Martha Stephens) John Martin Brown 1824-1888

(Martha Stephens) Alexander Brown 1826-1910

(Martha Stephens) Jesse Stowell Brown 1828-1905

- (Martha Stephens) Nancy Brown Davis Sanford 1830-1895

(Martha Stephens) Daniel Brown 1832-1864

(Martha Stephens) James Moorhead Brown 1834-1924

(Martha Stephens) William Brown 1836-1904

(Martha Stephens) Benjamin Franklin Brown 1838-1863

(Martha Stephens) Moroni Brown 1838-1916

- (Susan Foutz) Alma Foutz Brown (infant) 1842-1842

- (Esther Jones) August Brown (infant) 1843-1843

- (Esther Jones) Augusta Brown (infant) 1843-1843

- (Esther Jones) Amasa Lyman Brown (infant) 1845-1845

- (Esther Jones) Alice D. Brown Leech 1846-1865

- (Esther Jones) Esther Ellen Brown Dee 1849-1893

- (Sarah Steadwell) James Harvey Brown 1846-1912

- (Mary McRee) George David Black 1841-1913

- (Mary McRee) Mary Eliza Brown Critchlow1847-1903

- (Mary McRee) Margaret Brown 1849-1855

- (Mary McRee) Mary Brown Edwards Leonard 1852-1930

- (Mary McRee) Joseph Smith Brown 1856-1903

- (Mary McRee) Josephine Vilate Brown Newman 1858-1917

- (Phebe Abbott) Stephen Abbott Brown (child) 1851-1853

- (Phebe Abbott) Phoebe Adelaide Brown 1855-1930

- (Cecelia Cornu) Charles David Brown 1856-1926

- (Cecelia Cornu) James Fredrick Brown 1859-1923

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Sarah Brown c. 1857-

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Augustus Hezekiah Brown c. 1859


- (Diane Davis) Sarah Jane Fife White 1855-1932

- (Diane Davis) William Wilson Fife 1857-1897

- (Diane Davis) Diana Fife Farr 1859-1904

- (Diane Davis) John Daniel Fife 1863-1944

- (Diane Davis) Walter Thompson Fife 1866-1827

- (Diane Davis) Agnes Ann "Aggie" Fife 1869-1891

- (Diane Davis ) Emma Fife (child) 1871-1874

- (Diane Davis) Robert Nicol Fife (infant) 1873-1874

- (Diane Davis) Barnard Fife (infant) 1881-1881

- (Cynthia Abbott) Mary Lucina Fife Hutchins 1868-1950

- (Cynthia Abbott) Child Fife (infant) 1869-1869

- (Cynthia Abbott) David Nicol Fife 1871-1924

- (Cynthia Abbott) Joseph Stephen Fife (child) 1873-1878

- (Cynthia Abbott) James Abbott Fife (infant) 1877-1878


- (Diana) Caroline Lambourne 18461979

- (Diana)  Miles Park Romney 1843-1904

- (Jane) Emma Sarah Bodily 1858-1935

- (Jane) William Wilkie Galbraith 1838-1898

- (Elizabeth) Alexander F. Macdonald 1825-1903

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Atkinson 1841-1922

- (Eliza) Anne Kirstine Hansen 1845-1916

- (Eliza) James Niels Skousen 1828-1912

- (Angela) Maria Durán de Holguin 1876-1955

- (Angela) José Tomás Gabaldón 1874-1915












Contact Us:
Orson Pratt Brown Family Organization
P.O. Box 980111
Park City, Utah 84098-0111